About the Police Accountability Board (“PAB”)
No. The PAB is not part of the RPD. The PAB is an independent agency within the City of
Rochester. Our employees are directly accountable to the nine community members appointed to lead the PAB. By law, these members are not allowed to be current or former RPD officers.
We need PAB because Rochester deserves a transparent police department that does what the community wants it to do. The PAB’s job is to make clear to the community what is working and what isn’t within RPD. Empowered with that information, the community can work together to make changes and build the policing system that works for them.
No. In fact, if we do our job right, our work will help protect and support police officers who do
their jobs well. By highlighting what’s working and what’s not in our policing system, we can make sure police officers get the support they need to do their jobs effectively. We are especially concerned with making sure RPD provides its officers with mental health support and that RPD is treating is Black and Brown officers fairly.
The PAB is committed to helping dismantle racist policies and practices within our public safety
system. Our team is, by law, required to be trained on anti-racism. Our commitment to anti-racist action translates into belief that it is problematic systems, rather than problematic individuals, that are the greatest contributors to racism in our country.
PAB has to balance its commitment to transparency with our commitment to fairness. We never want to selectively or prematurely release information in a way that would distort the community’s perception of what happened or break the law. When we can be transparent, we will be.
Our community is diverse, with different perspectives on how they want to be kept safe. Our
commitment is to a long-term, expertise and data-driven approach to gauging what different
parts of our community want and what they share in common. Some of our tactics will include: surveys, focus groups representative of the community, and community engagement events.
Rochester’s voters overwhelmingly chose to grant PAB sweeping powers to access any source
of information held by RPD or the City. We will always attempt to cooperate with the RPD and
the City to collaboratively share information. We also have the power to obtain information using
subpoenas, which are legal tools that can force people to provide us with information. We will
always inform the community if and when we face barriers in obtaining the information, we need
to do our jobs.
We need to focus on building a model of success at the city-wide level first. After we achieve
that goal, we can work with the community on county-wide approaches to improving public
Yes! You can support the PAB by: (1) filing reports of potential misconduct you witness; (2)
attending our board meetings and events; and (3) educating your friends, family, and neighbors
about our mission.
We also have a number of consultation and volunteer opportunities that you can check out here
(attach link to the word “here” of opportunities).
FILING A REPORT
You should file a report with us when you think: (1) an RPD officer has done something wrong to
you or someone else; (2) RPD as an institution is engaging in activity that is harmful, improper,
You should file a report with us as soon as possible, following the incident. The statute of limitations for the PAB’s investigations is limited to 18 months. Once the incident is past the 18-month expiration date, we are not able to make recommendations for disciplinary action.
Find out by reading our webpage “When is an Officer Doing Something Wrong?” In general:
when in doubt, file a report. We’ll let you know if what you’re seeing is potential misconduct.
The PAB is able to investigate your report with the information you provide. However, some details make your report stronger, and allow us to take your investigation further.
- Date and time of the incident, location, officer name, badge number, or license plate number.
- Surrounding businesses or landmarks
- Witness name or contact information.
- Any Relevant documents (ie: court or hospital records).
No. A report may be filed without this information.
PAB website reporting portal (attach link to the word “portal”)
Mail reports to: 245 E. Main St., Rochester, NY 14604
Email reports to: [email protected]
File a report in person: 245 E. Main St., Rochester, NY 14604
Any individual, group, or institution, regardless of whether you are located within the City of
Yes. We understand that in some instances the individual who suffered the alleged misconduct
cannot themselves file a complaint, such as the allegation of misconduct involves a minor or an
individual who is deceased or otherwise incapacitated. In such instances, the person’s attorney,
parents, guardian, or other legal representatives may file the complaint on his or her behalf.
Yes. Should an anonymous report be received, our staff will investigate the matter to the best of
our ability with the information that is available.
Members of the public will be able to track the status of their reports via our Case Management
Web Portal. Please be sure to have your Complaint ID number on hand for reference.
A report is a piece of information given by a community member to the PAB. An investigation is
a fact-finding mission PAB conducts when the information it gets suggests that RPD or its officers may be doing something wrong . Not every report will lead to an investigation, and not
every investigation requires a report from a community member to proceed.
After a claim is submitted, a Case Manager will be assigned to the matter. They will follow up
with you to complete the intake process. This allows us to gather more information about
yourself and the incident. The Case Manager will keep you updated and informed about the
process as it moves forward.
If there is enough information to proceed, the claim will be assigned to one of our trained
Investigators may conduct interviews, collect and review any available Body Worn Camera
(BWC) footage, physical evidence, and digital evidence.
After the Investigator has compiled all facts and evidence into their report, they will present their
findings to a panel of Board Members. The panel will then determine whether an officer
committed misconduct. The panel may also recommend consequences that will address the
misconduct, like retraining, an official apology, or termination.
Incidents that occur outside of the city limits, but involve RPD officer(s), will still fall under the
It depends on the complexity of the case. Some cases can take weeks, while others take
months. The PAB’s job is to balance the need for thorough investigations with the need for quick
investigations. We’ll move as fast as we can on your complaint and keep you posted about our progress.
PAB is a separate entity staffed by non-police community members who independently
investigate matters of police misconduct. PSS is the RPD’s internal affairs unit, run by police
officers tasked with investigating their colleagues.
Oral or written communications regarding RPD activity (includes, complaints, compliments, systemic issues, etc.)
A written or oral report regarding police misconduct made by any individual or group of individuals.
The individual or group who makes a report to PAB.
An individual who sees an event take place from personal observation or experience.
A formal examination and search for facts if an incident report has been filed and adequately describes the inappropriate nature of acts or omissions performed by officers.
A legal document served to bring a lawsuit for damages against a city or government agency.
The PAB staff assigned to carry out a formal investigation.
The PAB staff who assists with the coordination of intake and information gathering of all reports.
Unacceptable or improper behavior.
Acceptable or praiseworthy behavior.
Policies, procedures, patterns, or practices that affect a larger group.
The sworn officers of the Rochester Police Department, including but not limited to the Chief, deputies, captains, lieutenants, commanders, and all other sworn law enforcement professionals.
An elected law enforcement member of Monroe County Sheriff’s office.
A law enforcement member of New York State police force.